monarchWe were outside when we noticed seven or eight Monarchs on our butterfly bush.  There were two or three other ones flitting about also.  It is the first time we have ever noticed so many Monarchs in our back yard at the same time.  We think they are migrating.

Audrey went outside and caught a few to test for OE.  One of them was sick, so she kept him, but released the healthy one.  She also roamed the neighbors’ yard to see if she could find anymore.

We are hoping that more Monarchs use our yard for a B&B as they travel south.  We have been working hard to plant more Monarch friendly plants and, according to Audrey, you can never have too many butterflies.


Today’s Smile- Fighting Pirates

Megan gave this to me yesterday.  Then she told me the story about it.

two-princessesThis is a picture of a girl who is a very good sword fighter or with any weapon. She is fighting a boy pirate who is not so good a fighter as her, but is a bad guy. He robs people. Then he tries to escape in his ship. She got on his boat, even though it was sailing away, on a rope she had made. She rescued all the treasure.

I think we have been reading too many pirate stories out loud and watching too many versions of Treasure Island.

A Class on Photographing People

I spent the last six weeks taking an online course on people photography. Each lesson focused on a different aspect of taking good portraits. The last lesson was to formulate a business plan.

It was a good class with a lot of interesting assignments.  The hardest task was taking a close up picture. The most challenging was creating an abstract.  My most fun pictures were those of Audrey with her butterflies and chrysalises.

I am taking one course this session and then will take a break.  It is hard to get my school work done while teaching the children. Hopefully, I will be able to take more in the summer.



audrey-releasing-butterfliesIt has been a difficult year finding Monarchs, at any stage, in the wild.

Audrey discovered if she bleaches the eggs of sick butterflies, the offspring have a good chance of being healthy.  She set up a nursery and managed to collect a lot of eggs this year. I do not know exact numbers, but she has released over 150 Monarchs this summer!

Bass Harbor Wharf

img_7206-wharf_shareWhile waiting for our lobster dinner, we enjoyed the wharf.  It was neat seeing all the lobster cages and watching boats come in.

When we were there, the tide was low.  We were told that it will rise twelve feet higher! You can see the water lines on the sides of the piers.

First Lobster

img_7210-lobster_shareWhile in Maine, we knew that we should try lobster. We asked around all week and most people suggested getting a lobster roll which sounded like lobster in mayonnaise on bread.  One of the last days there, we were talking to a college student who suggested going to Thurston’s Lobster Pound in Bass Harbor.  She said the prices were reasonable, the lobster caught recently and at times there were lines down the road waiting for a table. Plus, it was a lot less expensive than most other places!

So, we decided to try fresh lobster.  We chose what size we wanted and then approved the lobster they chose for us.  We watched them label the lobster and get it ready to put in huge vats of boiling water. Our table was next to the harbor and it was fun watching everything outside.

We agreed that lobster was similar to shrimp. Everyone liked it in varying amounts.  Megan liked it with a little mayonnaise, but everyone else enjoyed it with LOTS of butter.

Adrian was excited to get the lobster and eat it with a bib.  Mark was given the privilege of trying to figure out how to get to the meat, though everyone got to try. Then Mark had fun dissecting it and commenting on how it was different from a crayfish.

All of us would enjoy lobster again sometime.  But, only when it is freshly caught and less expensive than what we can buy in the midwest!

The South Bubble

people-lesson-3_shareMark enjoyed looking at park maps and wanted to find a really good hike.  He wanted something difficult, but not too hard for everyone.  He would have been happy to find a place that only he and Daddy could go, but that did not work this time.

He did find a hike for us though.  We walked around Jordan Pond and climbed the South Bubble. It is not the climb for people who dislike hikes or climbing over rocks!

Unfortunately, I did not get as many pictures as I would have liked.  I had used up all my memory cards and deleted the obviously bad pictures just so we could have a few more pictures.  Allan would later comment that I took over 1500 pictures before running out of space. He also promised new memory cards for future trips!

The kids all took off ahead of us again and helped Megan over rough spots. There were only a few spots she had trouble with because of her height.  We had people stop and ask if that bunch of kids ahead were ours.  Then they would comment how polite the kids were or how good they were with the little ones.  We heard so many complimentary things about our kids during that walk!  They even tried helping another family with younger children get to the summit!

The trail going up was a bit challenging for me.  I don’t enjoy climbing rocks as much as Mark does; though climbing down is a lot worse! There was one spot where my legs were just not long enough and Allan had to give me a boost up. Mark and Allan both were there to help when needed and I often thought how blessed I am that both of my men are so considerate. I was also thankful that I can hike trails like this.  I don’t like them as much as others, but it would have been awful not to have been able to enjoy the day with my family.

When we got to the top, we could see a long way off.  It was a beautiful place to rest and enjoy our lunch! Coming down was a lot easier, it was less rocky and the scenery completely different.